Schools throughout Egg Harbor Township and Hamilton Township have implemented many new programs, expanded their staff and course listings and renovated their facilities in the hopes of giving students an improved educational experience for the 2013-14 school year.

With the exception of charter schools, all public schools in New Jersey will this year be implementing an overhauled evaluation system called Teach NJ, which reforms the process of earning and maintaining tenure by improved evaluations and opportunities for professional growth.

This year, Oakcrest has expanded its class offerings to include classes on PC system and repair, management, sales and hospitality as well as a class called Global Shakespeare, which looks at the impact of the Bard's work on today's world.

The Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District, of which Oakcrest is a part, implemented a number of technological overhauls during the summer, including increasing Internet bandwidth to 100 mb/s, upgrades to the district phone system, expansion of the bring-your-own-device initiative for teachers, and a new parent notification system, which facilitates communication between school staff and parents through voice, text messaging, email and social media.

Building improvements at Oakcrest include refurbishment of the school's bathrooms and the addition of new volleyball nets. Richard Tinsley, Danielle Kessley and Lisa Spector were hired to teach music, English and math, respectively, and Joe Costal was hired as the school's new supervisor of English.

Elsewhere in Hamilton Township, the Shaner School will have a new kindergarten autism class in September to accommodate the needs of the preschool autism class from last school year. Davies School will expand its Read 180 and System 44 reading and writing programs and will add financial literacy and book study classes to its sixth-grade related arts class, and its vice principal, Melanie Lamanteer, will take over as principal at Hess School.

Charter Tech High School for the Performing Arts, based in Somers Point but open for students from throughout the county has built eight new classrooms for the 2013-14 school year, which will feature state-of-the-art technology and will allow for smaller class sizes. The school is also offering new community education classes in filmmaking, Photoshop, voice and piano and will bring back its popular Rockademy after school music program, which was a staple for eight years but was not offered last year.

Contact Braden Campbell:

609-272-7415